A study that tracked millions of schoolchildren shows that children are more likely to be obese when their schools are close to a fast food joint, reports Roni Rabin of New York Times. The study is headed by economists at the University of California and Columbia University, and spanned almost a decade.
Enrico Moretti, one of the study’s authors, indicated that the study does not explain why students closer to a fast food restaurant are more likely to become obese, but affirmed the “credible and unbiased” causal effect it establishes between obesity and fast food.
Providing one more piece of evidence that fast food contributes to child obesity, this study has implications for public policy, said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Neighborhoods and school district may choose to “zone out” fast food restaurants to protect their children’s health.